Portugal coach Fernando Santos reckons Cristiano Ronaldo heightens Euro 2016 terror threat

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Football News

Security will be high at the upcoming European Championships as France prepares to host the summer tournament.

Euro 2016 kicks off in seven days but France remains in a state of emergency following November’s terror attacks in Paris, which left 130 people dead.

There are fears that terrorists view the international tournament as an ideal setting to stage another attack, with the U.S. State Department issuing a travel alert to its citizens who will be in Europe during the summer.


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Some of Europe’s greatest footballers, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, will all be representing their respective countries at the tournament, which begins on June 10 and ends on July 10.

And, though Europol director Rob Wainwright believes it would be difficult for terrorists to pull off an attack, Portugal coach Fernando Santos still believes Ronaldo’s presence makes his team a large threat.

Speaking after the 1-0 defeat to England on Thursday, Santos said, per FourFourTwo: “Portugal is one of the high-risk teams, because we have Cristiano Ronaldo. We are prepared for this.

"We know that around us we will have the French security, which will be alert. And our fans have to understand that too, because sometimes the power to free players isn't ours, it will be controlled by security, and I ask the fans to understand that.

"But we are not afraid, football has to respond strongly to these issues. But let's address these issues to who is in charge."

2.5 million fans in attendance

According to the BBC, 90,000 security staff will be deployed around France during the tournament. It’s believed that 2.5 million fans will attend games, with hundreds of thousands turning up in the country without tickets.

Though Mr Wainwright identifies the threat of an attack is high, he is confident that the level of security reduces the risk.

He said, per ESPN FC: “I have no doubt that the Euros are on a potential target list for IS, for obvious reasons. That's a pretty obvious assumption. The threat is high, I think.

"The risk isn't necessarily high because, to counter-balance that threat, I see a huge amount of security preparations being taken by the French authorities, with extra police and military drafted in.

"We are dealing with a country a bit like Britain where they know how to do their security and they've learned a lot of lessons also from the attacks last November.''

How will Portugal fare at Euro 2016? Let us know in the comments section below!

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